My Aching Back

Back pain is a common symptom that most people experience once in a lifetime. Whenever a person experiences back pain, seeking nonsurgical treatment options is at the top of the list. Some conservative treatments can be done at home while others require professional help.

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Managing pain at home

Usually, when someone experiences back pain, one will try to reduce the pain with easily accessible methods. Some of these methods include over-the-counter pain medications, topical products, heat or ice applications, exercises, and essential oils. Lifestyle modifications such as maintaining a good posture and healthy weight, quitting smoking, and limiting strenuous activities also help. Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, and tai chi may aid in relieving back pain.

Treatments requiring professionals

Sometimes when some easily accessible conservative treatments do not work, patients reach out to other types of nonsurgical treatments. These nonsurgical managements require the help of healthcare professionals to treat back pain. These include prescribed medications such as muscle relaxants, steroid injections, alternative therapies, and physical therapy. Alternative therapies such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, electrical nerve stimulation, and biofeedback therapy may be useful in reducing pain. However, consult with the healthcare provider before starting any type of treatment.

What is a caudal epidural injection?

A steroid injection is done in the lower back of a patient and this is called a caudal epidural injection. This injection is done to relieve pain and inflammation. The procedure takes 15-30 minutes and the patient can go home on the same day. However, driving and strenuous activities should be avoided for 24 hours after getting the injection.

After the injection

Once a patient gets a steroid injection, soreness can be felt near the injection site. The effects of steroids start working in 2-3 days so patients begin experiencing some relief in a couple of days. The injection greatly decreases back pain, thus avoiding surgical therapies.

Is one shot enough?

The amount of injection needed depends on the severity of the pain and the patient’s response to the first injection. Some patients need only a single steroid injection, while others may require 2 or more some weeks apart. Speak to the healthcare provider about getting more than one steroid injection.

Are there any possible risks?

Generally, caudal epidural injections are considered safe. However, there are chances of a few risks, such as bleeding or infection around the site and headache. The risks of getting complications are minimal.

When to consider injection?

The doctor may recommend a caudal epidural injection if the back pain persists for more than 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, besides injection, the doctor may advise other therapies, depending on the patient’s clinical scenario. Discuss with the healthcare provider all the possible nonsurgical options for back pain.

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